A Blessed Weekend

Saturday afternoon I went out running and on the way back noticed that my neighbor and some other guys were hanging out on the front steps of their house. I decided to join them... I went over and started a conversation and before I knew it I was talking to him (Carlos), his brother Randall, his cousin Edgar, his sister-in-law and 4 of their sons...plus an occasional visitor here and there. I shared my testimony... why we are in Costa Rica, what we went through in order to get here and what we are going to be doing in Guatemala. They asked me many questions and I answered them to the best of my ability in spanish. My sons noticed me, from across the street, and Carlos asked if they could come and play with his sons (same ages). They came over and almost immediately they were all running around with nerf guns and playing like they had known each other for years! Carlos' wife told me I looked hungry and fed me dinner and then Mary headed over to visit as well. We were there most of the night. Carlos shared with me that he had been raised by his mother who was a Christian but had not followed Christ. He works as a liquor salesman and felt that his work was "no muy cristiano". He said that he felt that God brought us across the street to lead him to "change". Towards the end of our time together I asked him if he would please accompany us to church. He said that they would join us.

The next morning we all (including some of his brother's sons) headed to our church "El Lugar" (the place... an evangelical church). Upon arriving there we were all surprised to discover (including Carlos) that many of his extended family attended... and one other interesting note: His neice's husband is our pastor! Our pastor seemed surprised and overjoyed that Carlos was there with his family and gave him a special welcome from the pulpit (having him stand and welcoming them personally). The message was beautiful, something Mary and I had prayed earnestly for that morning, and focused on Satan's methods of operation and our need to examine our hearts and our fruits. After the service, many people were coming up to Carlos and his family and hugging him and expressing their extreme pleasure that he was there.

After church we had them over for a barbecue (on their grill) and talked more about each others lives, ate mucho and watched our kids enjoying each other. We also watched the end of the Saprissa game. Saprissa won 5 - 0. God is good.

Jessica y Carlos
Carlos' brother Randal y his wife Jessenia
The kids all hanging out

Sergio. This is their "blessing". He was hospitalized for the first year of his life and was not expected to live for more than a week or so... or ever walk. He now walks and is healthy.

Marcela Gandara...Great Musica Cristiana

Words to the second song:

Give me your eyes, I want to see. Give me your words, I want to speak. Give me your view/perspective. Give me your feet, I want to go. Give me your desires for feeling. Give me your view/perspective. Give me what I need...To be like You. Give me your voice, give me your breath. Take my time, it's for you. Give me the way that I must follow. Give me your dreams, your longings. Your thoughts/mind, your feelings. Give me your life for living. Let me see that which is your time. Give me your grace, your power. Give me your heart. Let me see inside you. To be changed by your love. Give me your heart.

Greetings from Maine

We received the nicest card from our church family, First Baptist of Portland. Here's us after church today holding it for a thank you back to them via email. They wrote in perfect spanish all around the perimeter of the card and then wrote the sweetest messages to us. Thank you so much FBC family! We miss you and love you all! As you can see, Eve liked it too!


San Jose Centro Ciudad
Tomorrow at 9:20 (after my morning grammar class) I will head into the city in order to build my new FARO route. FARO F=Facilitator (a teacher at the Institute) A= Ayudante (native helper) R= Ruta (route) O= Oir,Observar and Oraganizar (Listen,Observe and be Organized!) I need to find 10 native people that will agree to meet with me twice per week for 15 minutes in order to discuss themes that I have pre-selected to study. Each theme will include an emphasis on an area of grammar which I must use, for example: direct and indirect objects, any of the tenses (past perfect, past imperfect, future, subjunctives, conditionals, etc...) Some themes I have chosen include: education in Costa Rica, poverty y economic factors, the government, Costa Rica's lack of military, Christianity, their perception of U.S., bullfighting, soccer, etc... I have memorized an introduction in order to explain my program and what is required of them. Please pray that I am able to find men that are patient, interesting and easy to understand. I am both excited and scared of this new arrangement! There are 2 other students in the program and we will meet for an hour as a group on Mondays and Fridays to share our experiences and to pass in our required reports. In addition to my route I also have to report on 1 activity per week in which I spoke nothing but spanish for 20 minutes or more. I have begun putting some ideas together for activities: visiting an orphanage, visiting the largest mattress factory in Costa Rica (here in San Jose... I thought maybe I could show them how to build a comfortable mattress too!), going to the National Museum with a guide and going to a nice restaurant with my wife and speaking only spanish together. (I like that one the best!) My ayudante (helper, who I have not found yet) needs to be a native speaker that can also speak some english. He will help me to put together (in proper Costa Rican lingo) questions to ask on my route and to phrase my reports back to my facilitator. I have been told that FARO is a way to accelerate my speaking and comprehension and I pray that this is the case... because it is definately stretching me at the moment!!

Aaron and Jordan Playing Soccer

Here is a little clip of Aaron and Jordan playing indoor soccer this afternoon at school:

What I Miss

With Mary in Maine these last several days I was feeling a bit homesick... I was talking with Abbie last night about what we miss in the US and here is a little list we came up with: (not necessarily in order of importance)

~ My wife at the moment!!!! Come home soon Mary!
~ Obviously the first on the list is people! Family & Friends
~ Dunkin Donuts coffee (fr vanilla?) and a bagel with veggie cream cheese
~ A really good cheeseburger... maybe one of my Dad's at their camp! (with a few pineneedles for extra flavor) Central American hamburger is o.k. but just not the same!
~ Driving a car. I have logged 0 miles since we left. I must say that gas is cheaper that way!
~ Walking at night. I love to go out walking at night and here it is just not a safe prospect.
~ Pedestrians having the right-of-way and people yielding to you. Never Here.
~ Life out of the city.
~ English
~ Going to the supermarket and spending less than 150,000 (colones that is)
~ Water. When it is hot we are landlocked and there are no lakes around to swim in...and the beach is over 2 hrs. away! Many afternoons I would love to go jump in the lake. :(
~ Moxie soda...no one's every heard of it!
~ A sermon that I can understand more than 40% of.
~ A yard without a wall, razor wire, gates and locks.
~ A neighborhood without an armed guard walking up and down the streets... although this does provide some comfort!
~ Paying my light, water and other bills online rather than in the bank (required here) and having more than a few days to pay them! (my water bill is generally due 3 days after I receive it...the first month we waited a few days past and they shut it off!)
~ A good steak...

Now, just to be fair here's a list of what we would miss here:

~ Almost everyone you meet wants to talk and know all about you. Taxi drivers, people in line at the bank, people in the supermarket, neighbors, ect... This is an incredibly relationship oriented culture. One person explained that for so many years they had nothing but each other.
~ We have found that most everyone is open to discussing God and desire to know more about Him. I suspect this is the result of a culture with many needs.
~ The climate is near-perfect.
~ The ability to go anywhere, anytime in a taxi...cheap.
~ Way simpler living
~ Chicken... their chicken here is really good!
~ Gallo Pinto: their traditional black bean and rice dish
~ Incredible fruit, Incredibly cheap. Mangos, pineapples (Mary bought them last week for .20 ea.) etc...
~ Spanish
~ Costa Rican coffee
~ Being close to all services
~ Starting nearly every day with sun
~ Afternoon thunder showers
~ Cool nights
~ Flowers year-round

Trip to the Jungle

Before Mary left for Maine, we had the great pleasure of resting for 4 nights at the Casa Shalom Missionary Retreat Home in the Jungle near Fraijanes, Costa Rica. We had a wonderful time, reading books, napping and visiting the jungle. Here is a short video of our trip:

My Last Trimester Class

Here are some pictures of my last trimester classes:

Angela (Bolivia), Lisa (Peru), Me, Rick (Costa Rica) and Brian #2 (Argentina) Teacher: Anna Silvia

Fonetica (Phonetics)

Rick, Ken, Me, Tara, Kathy, Lisa, Krystal, Angela, Brian and Teacher: Oscar (very cool!)


Teacher: Rita Morillo
Lenguaje (Conversation)